With year one drawing to a close, the truth of the Obama presidency is laid bare: retrenchment abroad, and redistribution and the intrusive regulatory state at home. This is the genuine calling of Barack Obama, and of the "progressives" holding him to account. The false dichotomy has taken hold—either we care for our own, or we go abroad in search of monsters to destroy or of broken nations to build. The decision to withdraw missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic was of a piece with that retreat in American power.
In the absence of an overriding commitment to the defense of American primacy in the world, the Obama administration "cheats." It will not quit the war in Afghanistan but doesn't fully embrace it as its cause. It prosecutes the war but with Republican support—the diehards in liberal ranks and the isolationists are in no mood for bonding with Afghans. (Harry Reid's last major foreign policy pronouncement was his assertion, three years ago, that the war in Iraq was lost.)
Harry Reid and the rest of the "lefty losers" personify the entitlement of those redistributors of wealth on the left who want to concentrate on domestic restructuring, weakening both our foreign and domestic establishments at the same time.
In retrospect, that patina of cosmopolitanism in President Obama's background concealed the isolationism of the liberal coalition that brought him to power. The tide had turned in the congressional elections of 2006. American liberalism was done with its own antecedents—the outlook of Woodrow Wilson and FDR and Harry Truman and John Kennedy. It wasn't quite "Come home, America," but close to it. This was now the foreign policy of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. There was in the land a "liberal orientalism," if you will, a dismissive attitude about the ability of other nations to partake of liberty. It had started with belittling the Iraqis' aptitude for freedom. But there was implicit in it a broader assault on the very idea of freedom's possibilities in distant places. East was East, and West was West, and never the twain shall meet.
We're weary, the disillusioned liberalism maintains, and we're broke, and there are those millions of Americans aching for health care and an economic lifeline. We can't care for both Ohio and the Anbar, Peoria and Peshawar. It is either those embattled people in Iran or a rescue package for Chrysler.
Of course, Fuad doesn't directly mention the subtle condescension, not to mention racism, contained in this sort of retreat from the twentieth century legacy which has unintended consequences all across the board that faux-philosophe Obama may not be aware of, or if so, doesn't give a damn. The dumb [female] Peace Prize Cte in Oslo even was conned out of a Prize!
The joke is on the enthralled crowds in Cairo, Ankara, Berlin and Oslo. The new American president they had fallen for had no genuine calling or attachments abroad. In their enthusiasm for Mr. Obama, and their eagerness to proclaim themselves at one with the postracial meaning of his election, they had missed his aloofness from the genuine struggles in the foreign world. It was easy, that delirium with Mr. Obama: It made no moral demands on those eager to partake of it. It was also false, in many lands.
Thus Turks who loathed the Kurds in their midst, who denied them the right to their own memory and language, could identify themselves, or so they said, with the triumph of Mr. Obama and his personal history. No one questioned the sincerity with which Egyptians and other Arabs hailed Mr. Obama as they refused to be stirred by the slaughter in Darfur, and as they gave a carte blanche to Khartoum's blatant racism and cruelty. Surely there was something amiss in Paris and Berlin—the vast crowds came out for Mr. Obama, but there were millions of Muslims in France and Germany, and the gates hadn't been opened for them, they hadn't been swept into the mainstream of European life. Postracialism, rather like charity, should have begun at home, one would think.
By [inadvertently?] supporting Arab racism against non-Arab blacks and Turkic racism against non-Turkish Kurds, Obama simply slips lower in the eventual poll of historians of the presidency, if he leaves enough of that office intact for future scholarship to ponder. Fuad goes on to note that, contrary to Joe Biden's preposterous claim that Hezbollah were ousted from Lebanon, Rafik Hariri's son now has to go kiss the hem of the robe of the dictator responsible for murdering the President of Lebanon. And someone should inform Joe Gaffe-a-Minute that Hezbollah now runs Lebanon the way he incompetently used to run the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
[Now], no despot fears Mr. Obama, and no blogger in Cairo or Damascus or Tehran, no demonstrator in those cruel Iranian streets, expects Mr. Obama to ride to the rescue. To be sure, it was in the past understood that we can't bear all burdens abroad, or come to the defense of everyone braving tyranny. But there was always that American assertion that when things are in the balance we would always be on freedom's side. .... It is different today, there is a cold-bloodedness to American foreign policy. "Ideology is so yesterday," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaimed not long ago, giving voice to the new sentiment.
History and its furies have their logic, and they have not bent to Mr. Obama's will. He had declared a unilateral end to the "war on terror," but the jihadists and their mentors are yet to call their war to a halt. From Yemen to Fort Hood and Detroit, the terror continues.
But to go by the utterances of the Obama administration and its devotees, one would have thought that our enemies were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, not the preachers and masterminds of terror. The president and his lieutenants spent more time denigrating "rendition" and the Patriot Act than they did tracking down the terror trail and the latest front it had opened at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. Our own leaders spoke poorly of our prerogatives and ways, and they were heard the world over.
Under Mr. Obama, we have pulled back from the foreign world. We're smaller for accepting that false choice between burdens at home and burdens abroad, and the world beyond our shores is more hazardous and cynical for our retrenchment and our self-flagellation.
Obama and his legions of lefty losers are growing smaller and smaller in the eyes of both Americans fooled by his moondance and in the gaze of brutal thugs like Chavez, Ahmedinejad, and Putin. Not to mention wannabe-thug Bashar Assad.